Glazing frame types
Glass windows and doors can be framed in timber, aluminium or steel. And believe it or not, you can get a hybrid timber and aluminium frame also – where it’s timber on the inside, and aluminium on the outside.
Timber windows are generally higher maintenance, as they require refinishing over their lifetime in your home. They can create a beautiful natural warmth to your home, and if your aesthetic preference is for a more traditional style, you may prefer this choice. There are companies that do stunning large, expansive and contemporary timber framed glazing also – so don’t think it’s limited to traditional homes. These large sliding doors and windows can have very simple, seamless thresholds and sliding tracks as they can be top-hung and work gorgeously to create that indoor-outdoor connection we desire.
Aluminium framed glazing is used extensively through building domestically and commercially. Based on your budget, your aesthetic preferences, and the size of your openings, you can choose standard residential framing, commercial aluminium framed glazing, or a level in between. You can choose a powdercoated finish, or anodised. Each manufacturer will have a standard range, or you pay a premium to choose from an extended range.
Standard residential glazing will generally be the most economical of all frame types. Its maximum overall height is 2,400mm. Taller heights, and really large areas of glazing can be done in semi-commercial, or commercial grade aluminium framed windows.
Steel framed glazing is fantastic for that industrial aesthetic. Thinner in profile than timber or aluminium, it’s also more expensive, but such a stunning choice for a dramatic impact on the style of your home.
There are so many different window and door opening types. I’m going to run through some of them here, and some specific things to consider. This is not an exhaustive list, but goes through the main types. Generally for each type too, you should also think about screening, security, cost and impact on the space (so keep reading for those sections).
Like it sounds – glass that doesn’t open. Sometimes you only want the view, and not necessarily ventilation as well. Don’t think every bit of glass you put in your home has to be operable. Fixed glazing generally has a finer frame, and can be great where view, but not ventilation, is the priority.
In aluminium frames, sliding windows and doors are the least expensive of all operable window types. They’re easy to screen as they move within the frame. Aluminium sliding windows and doors generally have the track for screens already built in as a standard.
Awning windows push out from the base, either using a winder system, or ‘friction stays’ (levers you unlatch to then push the window out). Of course, winders have a chain attached to them, so the amount the window can open will be restricted. To screen these, you’ll need to add screening on the inside – and if a winder operation, there’ll be a little adjustable part of the screen to open (and open the window) and then close the screen back up.
I like awning windows because they can be fairly weather proof when open (when you have light rain and not much wind) because pushing the window out creates a hood to the window opening.
These windows are hinged on the side and open outwards. They’re brilliant for capturing breezes – as you can angle them to literally channel a breeze inside. You can use them as solid or obscured panels too to control views and privacy. Screening needs to go on the inside.